Dear Daily Mail, there’s a thing called a search engine, use it. If you’d Googled my tits in advance you’d have found that your photos are hardly exclusive. – Amanda Palmer, Dear Daily Mail
The female nipple is a contentious thing. It is especially interesting to be informed they are offensive while sporting a pair of your own. Or indeed that they are so inherently sexual they will inflame the ardour of those around you to such an extent that orgies and all manner of wicked behaviour will ensue should the slightest hint of a female nipple emerge. Such powerful things separated from the world only by thin layers of cloth (or the front page of The Sun – enough to keep anything covered forever).
The male nipple, by contrast, is supposed to be an entirely boring thing. In fact women have been taking images of male nipples and placing them over their own, thereby negating the apocalyptic hell beast powers of their female breasts. Or just taking the utter piss out of this silliness.
A thing is as sexual as the mind perceiving it chooses to make it. I could describe to you, for example, a scenario in which a group of a dozen or so people observe with intensity a nude form writhe and contort for various periods of time, eyes taking in every detail, hands jerking and stroking in fierce concentration. This is called a life drawing class.
I have sat for hours drawing naked people, female nipples included, without the slightest desire to shag. I have painted female breasts in an entirely non-sexual context and been informed they were inherently pornographic, because the person viewing them was uncomfortable with their own arousal and clearly this was my fault. If I were to ever reveal my own breasts in public the same ‘logic’ would be applied. La sigh.
So far as I am concerned, unless people are actually having sex, it’s not sexual, and unless somebody is actually asking for it, they are not asking for it. Apparently this is a radical position (oo-er!).
If we really believe that a large portion of people are so mentally sexualised and so lack self control that they will be unable to restrain themselves in the presence of a female nipple, we have bigger problems on our hands than making sure women always go out dressed like tents. Personally, I believe that people are perfectly capable of self restraint and if they fail to exercise that capacity it is their fault, not the nipple. Perhaps yesterdays Royal Mile Topless Takeover, part of World Go Topless Day, shows we are bouncing toward a change in attitude. There have certainly been ripples. Jiggle jiggle.